Press release |

Tenth Anniversary of "Business Talk" in Munich

Traditional Event at Hotel Bayerischer Hof on 28 January 2016

Munich, 10 February 2016 – On 28 January 2016, for the tenth time already the annual „Business Talk“ was held at Hotel Bayerischer Hof, again jointly organised by Warth & Klein Grant Thornton and BEITEN BURKHARDT, hosting some 300 guests. The topic of this year's event was "The Power of the Media".

For this anniversary, the organizers were able to win as guest speaker Helmut Markwort, one of Germany's best known journalists. Karen Webb, presenter at the German TV broadcaster ZDF and known from the tabloid show „Leute heute“, moderated the evening.

In his one-hour lecture Helmut Markwort discussed the power of the media in today's economy. In his opening statement he noted that the fast-paced development of the Internet and the rapid spreading of social networks had led to a tremendous growth of the power of media in recent years. And in this context power could be seen both positively and negatively due to the fact that media coverage was never objective. The power of selection, how to present and communicate news lay with the media. According to Markwort, you only had to take a look at the first page of some daily newspapers and observe which news had been selected and where they had been placed in order to identify the differing positions towards current issues.

He then focussed on television coverage and in particular on the reporting of the public broadcasters. Mr Markwort illustrated that the German news "Tagesschau" corresponds to three-quarters of a page of the German newspaper FAZ and contains an average of 17 messages. During one day, however, editorial offices are usually provided with some 500 messages. This volume of information and the news that are made of it and accordingly broadcasted during one day also show the media's power of selection. In other words: "not being present in the media means not being important". And this is of vital importance for policy-making. He continued that from his own experience he could confirm that journalists in fact make professional use of the rivalry between the parties.

Another topic of his lecture dealt with "The Internet - Blessing and Curse", in particular with regard to social networks. He raised the question whether due to the fact that social networks had gained power, the freedom of the press was nowadays less important. Also, the distrust of the traditional media's coverage had grown. On the other hand it should be noted that news disseminated via Internet quite frequently were not true and correct. He mentioned the "migrant crisis" as the current controversial topic of these days.

In his final words he offered a description of the "ideal citizen": He or she is well-informed and forms his/her opinion on the basis of various news sources (newspapers, television, party newspapers, Internet etc.). However, this image did not correspond with the normal voter which was exactly the reason why traditional quality media had to assume their responsibilities - namely to report as objectively and neutrally as possible.

Mr Markwort's interesting lecture was followed by a brief session of questions and answers and the get-together.

The lecture of the guest speaker was preceded by a short welcome of ZDF presenter Karen Webb and an interview with both hosts Dr. Axel Goetz (BEITEN BURKHARDT) and Dr. Stefan Kusterer (Warth & Klein Grant Thornton).

The hosts and organisers looked back on ten years of Business Talk in Munich: Starting from scratch with the idea and the vision to establish a platform for entrepreneurs and businessmen, providing information on current legal and tax developments and facilitate sharing personal experiences, via reviewing the different guest speakers up to telling some short anecdotes.

About the Speakers, the Presenter and the Hosts

Helmut Markwort is a German journalist, publishing manager, entrepreneur as well as former chief editor and today's (co-)publisher of the news magazine Focus.

Karen Webb is a German TV presenter with ZDF. As an author she is writing books and she is also a lecturer at the Chair of Communication Science at the University of Munich.

Dr. Stefan Kusterer is Partner at Warth & Klein Grant Thornton AG in Munich. He particularly focuses on tax planning and structuring of mid-sized companies and corporate groups.

Dr. Axel Goetz is Partner at BEITEN BURKHARDT in Munich and co-head of the Corporate / M&A practice group. His main areas of activity comprise M&A and private equity transactions as well as providing legal advice on corporate law issues (restructurings), advice and representation in special corporate law disputes and the management of general meetings.

Dr. Stefan Kusterer (Warth & Klein Grant Thornton)
Phone: +49 89 36849 - 4250

Phone: + +49 89 35065-1303


PM Business Talk_EN.pdf